Human Serum Betaine and Associated Biomarker Concentrations Following a 14 Day Supplemental Betaine Loading Protocol and during a 28 Day Washout Period: A Pilot Investigation

Steven B. Machek, Emilia E. Zawieja, Jeffery L Heileson, Dillon R. Harris, Dylan T. Wilburn, Emma A. Fletcher, Jason M. Cholewa, Artur Szwengiel, Agata Chmurzynska, Darryn S. Willoughby

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Several previous investigations have employed betaine supplementation in randomized controlled crossover designs to assess its ostensible ergogenic potential. Nevertheless, prior methodology is predicated on limited pharmacokinetic data and an appropriate betaine-specific washout period is hitherto undescribed. The purpose of the present pilot investigation was therein to determine whether a 28 day washout period was sufficient to return serum betaine concentrations to baseline following a supplementation protocol. Five resistance-trained men (26 ± 6 y) supplemented with 6 g/day betaine anhydrous for 14 days and subsequently visited the lab 10 additional times during a 28 day washout period. Participants underwent venipuncture to assess serum betaine and several other parameters before (PRE) and periodically throughout the washout timeframe (POST0, -4, -7, -10, -13, -16, -19, -22, -25 and -28). All analyses were performed at a significance level of  p  < 0.05. While analyses failed to detect any differences in any other serum biomarker ( p  > 0.05), serum betaine was significantly elevated from PRE-to-POST0 ( p  = 0.047; 2.31 ± 1.05 to 11.1 ± 4.91 µg·mL -1 ) and was statistically indistinguishable from baseline at POST4 ( p  = 1.00). Nevertheless, visual data assessment and an inability to assess skeletal muscle concentrations would otherwise suggest that a more conservative 7 day washout period is sufficient to truly return both serum-and-skeletal muscle betaine content to pre-supplementation levels.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Kinesiology

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